Opening Windows

I shocked myself the other day when I realized I wasn’t the slightest bit interested in the new version of Windows.

I remember in November 1985 (I was pregnant with my son at the time) being excited when the first version of Windows was released. I read everything I could on it and was so excited when we bought a desktop PC with it on it. Over the next few years computers became my passion … learning DOS (and teaching my 4-year-old daughter how to program games in DOS) and exploring the new Windows programs. I taught myself how to upgrade computer hardware, serviced my clients networks and thought seriously about becoming a certified technician. When Windows 95 was released I was ecstatic. Microsoft had revolutionized desktop computers.

For better or worse, Windows 95 changed my life. Windows 95 introduced me to social networking … I chatted with people from all over the world. I became a hostess in a MSN chat room, spent hours exploring the internet (not much was online back then but I read everything I could find).

Knowing DOS gave me a backdoor into the new Windows OS. My daughter and I (she is 13 at this point) could have become a mother/daughter hacking team. We taught each other HTML, simple hacking programs and kept pushing the envelope. Over the next few years I had to watch my daughter because she is brilliant and could easily have become an internet mastermind. I wrote simple password cracking programs, a program that allowed me to record keystrokes entered on the computer and, my favourite, a program that would take screen shots every 15 seconds and hide them on the computer.

I had to watch my daughter. She wrote programs that generated charge card numbers, enabled her computer to make long distance phone calls (an early version of Skype) without being charged. Luckily she moved on to master some other challenge.

XP came out in 2001 and it became difficult to use the DOS tricks we had learned over the years. Changes were fast and I was losing interest in mastering computers. I was so busy with work that it fell into the background. My granddaughter and stepdaughter had moved in with us and suddenly my life was taken up with a toddler. Computers were fading into the background. I still was interested but on a casual level.

Now Microsoft has come out with Windows 8. LAST WEEK. I haven’t even looked at it .. I have no interested in upgrading … no interest in knowing what it offers. I don’t feel like I need to run out and buy it.

The window is closed … now it is time to open a new door.

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